It’s true that I have a little thing for taxidermy but the disclaimer that I’ve made before stands: I don’t kill poor little minkies and pose them in fishing creels or shoot squirrels so I can dress them up in Santa clothes. These furry shadows of their former selves find me. Really, they do. I go into an antique store looking for a small Staffordshire teacup (well, not really but that’s for example) and then I look up and there’s a dusty old pheasant staring down at me. He’s whispering, "please, please, get me out of here! I want to live where I will be loved and
mauled snuffled by cats!" so I bring him home. And then another to keep him company and then I find the Santa Squirrel of Christmas Past and then a red fox with his tail falling off and then Minkie in a basket and so on. They just come to me.
Nevertheless, Touc is not a piece of taxidermy. Contrary to Bernadette’s opinion. Touc was carved in Belize, where I found him at a roadside stand for 4.00. I thought the detail on his feathers quite wonderful and his bill covered with some kind of thin tree bark very cool. The tree bark has dried out and separated a bit. He was colored with plant dyes and he’s faded a bit over time. Touc keeps me company above my wicker chair. He’s sort of like a muse. Sometimes. But he’s not stuffed.